On May 8 the Labor Department reported that the U.S. labor market lost a historic 20.5 million nonfarm jobs in April, sending the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent. The worst affected sectors are leisure and hospitality, which lost 7.7 million workers.
Dr. Steven Weisbart, Triple-I’s chief economist, points out that the employment data for March 2020* for the insurance industry are startling largely because they are at odds with employment changes in many other lines of work.
- Employment at property/casualty carriers held steady in March 2020 at 559,100–the same as in January and only 800 fewer than February.
- Employment at life/annuity carriers held essentially steady in March 2020 at 347,600–the same as in October 2019 and down a bit from the 348,000-349,000 in November 2019 through February 2020.
- Employment at health and medical insurance carriers rose in March 2020 to 585,100–its highest-ever level, up 1,500 from February 2020.
- Employment at agencies and brokerages rose in March 2020 to 852,400–its highest ever level, up 1,700 from February.
* The insurance industry/sector-specific data are not seasonally adjusted and are one month behind the national data.